The lack of Doctor Who in the autumn schedules this year is starting to make us feel seriously depressed, with the sci-fi series taking a break until the Christmas special this December before returning for a full series next April.

However, frequent Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss (who is writing an episode for the upcoming series) says that the new material might be worth the wait – because this year’s festive special is some of head writer Steven Moffat’s best work yet.

“I think the Christmas special… which is the only one this year…I think is one of Steve’s best ever scripts, absolutely beautiful,” Gatiss told the audience at a Victoria & Albert Museum members’ talk last night.

“It made me cry.”

Unfortunately Gatiss didn’t mention whether they were tears of joy or tears of inestimable sadness (either standard Doctor Who reactions, really), and generally preferred to keep the lid on anything we could expect for the Doctor’s future adventures next April.

“What can you expect?” he mused. “The Doctor is in it. It’s great!”

Peter Capaldi and new companion Pearl Mackie

But in fairness, some of Gatiss’ caginess came from his own desire not to spoil the new series for himself, as he went on to explain.

“I’ve read three scripts. I’ve seen a little bit. Just because of the new companion and things,” he said. 

“But I don’t want to see it, because it spoils it! I am such a fan, I just want to watch it.

“Peter Capaldi’s first season, the second half of that I knew nothing about. And it was such a joy to watch the next time trailer and just be totally surprised.

“So I mean, I have to, to some extent, but I try and see as little as possible, because I don’t wanna spoil it.”

Mark Gatiss in Conversation was organized by V&A Membership, which you can join for more special offers and events here